The South Australian Government will provide up to $538 in annual electricity bill reductions for 5,000 low income households across the state through a new expansion of its Switch for Solar program.

The Government is investing $21.25 million in this program, which gives eligible concession holders the chance to have a free solar system installed in return for their concession payments.

Deputy Premier, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said electricity bills of households already in the program have fallen by well over $1,000 per year, resulting in a net benefit of up to an average of $538 for these low-income households.

“Saving $500 or more on electricity bills is a great outcome for families struggling to make ends meet, providing more money for the many expenses families have, whilst also lowering emissions,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said. 

“South Australian households are now saving an average $421 per year on their electricity bills since the election of the Marshall Government in 2018, and the switch for solar saving can be on top of that.”

The Switch for Solar trial began in the Goolwa area and the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide in May 2021, and it will now be extended to 5,000 households in a full statewide rollout in August 2022.

Data from the trial shows that concession households who voluntarily “switch” their $215.10 per year Cost of Living Concession and $231.41 annual energy concession for a 4.4kw solar system are set to receive an average of $538 in savings over and above their existing $446.51 saving from their concessions. This is higher than the Marshall Government’s initial estimate of $57 to $525 when the scheme was launched.

Minister for Human Services, Michelle Lensink, said this showed that the Marshall Government was delivering lower costs and better services by helping more South Australians acquire solar power.

“Switch for Solar is about choice and empowerment. It means some households who want solar but don’t know how they’d ever afford it can now get a system at no up-front cost and save even more on their power bills,” Minister Lensink said.

“We want our concession holders to have more choice and more money in their pockets to support themselves, while knowing they’re contributing to a better environment for their children and grandchildren.

“We know this is an empowering program, because around 28 per cent of households so far have opted to co-contribute to get an ever bigger solar system and even bigger bill savings.

“This innovation more than doubles the bill savings we deliver to concession households, through solar instead of cash payments, with strong safeguards for participants.”

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